In this way, both roadmaps work together in their own trajectories for their particular focus. A product roadmap is used to communicate the strategic path of a certain product with the aim to achieve business goals. Product teams at diverse organizations utilize it to plan their work on a daily basis.
Roadmaps are flexible enough to allow executive teams to visualize plans for growth, share with the broader team, and update as things change. The process starts with strategy — you must establish the product goals and initiatives that your efforts will support. Once those are defined, you can decide which releases and features are best aligned with your strategy and then visualize it all on a timeline. The initiatives within a business roadmap are high-level focus areas that help the organization achieve the company goals. If a company’s goal is market leadership, the executive team might set an initiative to create faster innovation cycles. In many cases, the leaders within each functional group, such as the VP of product or the VP of marketing, heavily influence the business initiatives relevant to their department.
Product Roadmap Guide: What is it & How to Create One
Be aware that some tools treat strategy as an afterthought, focusing more on project planning or time tracking. Unfortunately, these tools are unlikely to help you make https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ a real impact — having clear goals to work towards is key to successful strategic planning. On the other hand, a project manager typically creates the project roadmap.
A product roadmap should always be aligned with the company’s overall strategy and objectives and it should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect these changes. One of the most important aspects of a company roadmap is its relationship to the product roadmap. The two roadmaps should work together to support the overall growth of the business.
What is a product roadmap?
At a basic level, a business roadmap should include the company’s big picture goals and initiatives, along with a time frame for when the team will accomplish them. Some business roadmaps might also show an overview of how each cross-functional group in the organization is contributing to the overall business goals. Typically a business roadmap will include goals such as market leadership, market expansion, or revenue growth. Common business-wide initiatives include high-level efforts such as creating faster innovation cycles or segmenting customers geographically. Sharing product roadmaps helps teams understand the overall strategy of the product, as well as the details around implementing features and communicating key benefits to customers.
Some companies fail due to their inability to get these choices correctly, although it might sound simple to do. Roadmunk roadmap for better structureRoadmunk makes visualizing roadmaps easier with features such as a timeline and swimlane view . Their roadmaps can be used for various cases and allow you to import, drag and drop, as well as attach files. The roadmap should feature a good overview of the timeline without too much detail; it should take into account hard deadlines and a list of specific goals and priorities. It is also important that the company’s leadership has a clear understanding of the roadmap and how it will help achieve the company’s goals. The leadership team can then use the roadmap as a tool to make better decisions for the company.
Product Roadmap vs. Release Plan
Depending on the complexity of the organization, you might have a marketing roadmap that separates work by function or that visualizes major campaigns linked to specific products. A roadmap is a visualization of your strategic initiatives and the major areas of work you will pursue. A project plan is a supporting document that lays out the specifics of what you need to do to achieve those initiatives. Use a roadmap to define the high-level goals and give an overview of how you will accomplish them. Then create a corresponding project plan to capture the step-by-step actions you will take to reach each goal along the way. Plans are organized into goals, initiatives, epics, and features — with a timeline for releases at the top.
- IT roadmaps are solely built for internal use and provide a roadmap for existing and new software applications and technology that your internal employees are using.
- Now/next/later roadmaps can be especially useful for getting a project or process back on track after an obstacle or delay.
- With a cross-functional roadmap in place, marketing will create more impactful campaigns.
- We learned that there are different goals for both roadmaps, but they should still work together to help achieve the company’s overall business objectives.
- A product roadmap typically includes timelines in the form of releases, which are containers of work that must be completed to launch new customer experiences.
- A product roadmap should always be aligned with the company’s overall strategy and objectives and it should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect these changes.
You can easily export your project roadmap to PNG, PDF, XML, or Excel. A well-prepared roadmap ensures everyone is on the same page and understands the common plan in the right manner. Progress bars show how close the team is to achieving the goals. Since each area of investment ties up to a high-level goal, you can easily show the impact of the team’s progress.
Releases x Features roadmap
Stakeholders gain a visual tool to see how a product is progressing and understand quickly how changes to the priority of one feature can impact other planned features and updates. Add your features, projects, initiatives, and ideas manually, or you can import these from any tool you used previously. Product roadmaps will differ one from another, depending on who the audience is. The sharing of the product roadmap internally to teams will allow them to know the overall strategies to approach, and the overall end date of the product.
This can be particularly useful for product managers who are working on new or emerging products, as it can provide context and direction for their work. A portfolio roadmap is a high-level view of all the products in an organization’s portfolio. It provides an overview of the strategic goals and plans for each product, as well as how they align with the overall goals of the organization.
Example Product Roadmap
Different types of roadmaps allow you to view the same issue from different frames. You can also fill in what other things each team has on its plate, so you can see when they have the most availability to work on your product. As a product manager, you don’t have the luxury of maintaining total control over your project planning systems. You have to allow entire teams to share your organizing systems and still find a way to keep everything running smoothly. Confused about the differences between product plans and release plans?
The company and type of product have a role to play in deciding what makes a good strategy. You’re bound to be late if you don’t constantly update the project roadmap. It is of essential importance that the goals in both roadmaps are aligned. You’ll learn how to differentiate them and utilize them for project and product success.
When to use a Gantt chart
Because different teams will look for different things on your roadmap, you will like want to create different views of it. Depending on your audience, you may choose from a few types of product roadmaps to clearly present the most relevant view. Each roadmap type shows similar information presented in a slightly different way — usually with https://www.globalcloudteam.com/what-is-an-it-roadmap-setting-goals-for-your-product/ varying degrees of specificity. The time to build your roadmap is when strategic product planning is done and the groundwork is laid for what you want to deliver and when. This is a big moment — you are at the start of a thrilling journey to deliver new value to your customers. Now you can build a product roadmap to chart your path forward.